Following are some of the frequently asked questions when clients are considering investing in fiber-optics for their business.
What are coax services/cable broadband (which I think I currently have)?
What you currently may have is what is called cable broadband services. Cable Broadband is a shared network where multiple users share the network. The larger carriers such as Spectrum, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink are known for over subscribing the network to multiple businesses and residents, which causes for slow internet in the afternoon hours. Also, when you are having problems with your cable broadband carriers will give you an “Best Effort” to fix your services. A “Best Effort” from the carriers means that you are primarily the last priority for them because their main focus is towards customers who pay for fiber-optic services. The reason why is because these customers are paying for the support within their contract along with more expensive service.
How are fiber-optics different than my cable broadband services?
When fiber is purchased from a carrier, the business owns their own pure dedicated fiber line that comes into their specific building and the only one that can affect the bandwidth is the sole business that pays for the fiber-optic line. This is a shared network across multiple businesses and residents within an area.
How long does fiber generally take to get installed into a building?
It takes between 90-120 days to get fiber into a building. If fiber is located on the street or near the building this is a big factor. If fiber is already located in a building and no construction is required, then the amount of days is decreased.
What is driving companies towards the need for additional bandwidth?
Company applications are driving the need for additional bandwidth. With more innovation and creation within business applications and software it is creating a faster paced work environment that relies on bandwidth to run a company and daily operations. These applications/software once applied are causing a need for additional bandwidth because almost all of them are ran using data. Many applications can be found running up to 24 hours a day causing a need for additional bandwidth.
What else is driving companies to switch over to fiber-optics?
Another drive, which not too many customers realize yet is the retirement of the legacy copper phone lines by the phone carriers. These include T1 and plain old copper telephone lines. Many of the aged copper phone lines are starting to be retired/shutoff across the United States because of four main reasons:
- The copper lines are 60 to 70 years
- The replacement parts are no longer being manufactured.
- The cost associated to maintain these old copper lines are becoming increasingly expensive for carriers because the lines are requiring additional repairs. ‘
- Most of the technicians who manage, install, and repair the old copper phone lines are starting to retire.
FYI: Customers who choose to stay with old copper phone lines may see an increase in their bills and eventually will be shut off within the next 1 to 3 years in specific regions.
What are the old copper phone lines being replaced with?
Legacy plain old telephone lines are being transitioned from running voice over old copper analog lines to being ran over the internet in digital packets. This is also known as (VOIP) voice over internet protocol where voice is being carried over the internet in digital packets. With this switch to VOIP taking place there are major discussions that need to be taking place in regards to phone systems.
What is a service level agreement in a fiber-optic contract and why is it important?
A service level agreement, or SLA, is very important component in a fiber-optic carrier contract because this will ensure a immediate technician response team to send a truck if service would be to go down. If there are any problems and a call is needed to be placed into the carrier, they will get moving a lot faster because credits can be applied to the account if not acted upon to be fixed.
Once the fiber-optic line is installed can I increase my bandwidth if needed and how fast?
There is fiber-optic equipment for different types of bandwidth to cap off the bandwidth. The break down is below:
Level 1: 10 Mg-100 MG
Level 2: 100 MG – 1 Gig
Level 3: 1 Gig – 10 Gigs
Level 4:10 Gigs – 100 Gigs
Within each of these levels it is an easy phone call into the carrier to increase the bandwidth, which takes seconds for the carrier to turn up the bandwidth. A new price will then be renegotiated for the increase in bandwidth. When switching from levels it is a different story because new equipment is most likely needed.
Are fiber-optics a good investment for my business?
Yes, fiber-optics are a good investment. While fiber costs a bit more than cable broadband or T1 services, you will gain serious bandwidth, reliability, and speed advantages. If better performance and delivery for employees and customers is important, the benefits will pencil out. Below is a rough cost comparison:
Cable Broadband Internet: $65-$250
T1 Internet: $250-$400
Fiber-optics Internet: $700+